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Senate Proceeding on May 1st, 2008 :: 4:08:10 to 4:20:05
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Charles Schumer

3:52:10 to 4:08:10( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Charles Schumer

Charles Schumer

4:07:50 to 4:08:10( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: an amendment that i hope to offer sometime on the f.a.a. bill, on the reauthorization of the federal aviation adminstration. i think it's a very important amendment, and i want to talk about it today

Claire McCaskill

4:08:10 to 4:08:24( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: so that my colleagues understand what this amendment isen about. mr. president, this is a picture of an airplane that was provided to my office by a u.s. safety in inspector. a pilot for a chinese

Claire McCaskill

4:08:10 to 4:20:05( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Claire McCaskill

Claire McCaskill

4:08:24 to 4:08:43( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: carrier requested permission and landed in frankfurt, germany, for an un unscheduled refueling stop. they were runningow on fuel. this is what the u.s. safety in inspector provided us. this is what the

Claire McCaskill

4:08:43 to 4:08:54( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: german workers found. seat belts wrapped around fan blades -- as you can see, there's a seat belt, there's a seat belt, there's a seat belt -- and the truch is behind. -- and the strumps behind.

Claire McCaskill

4:08:54 to 4:09:13( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: they did this to minimize turbulence because there had been an engine that failed. the inspector found that a total of three engines had to be re replaced before the plane was going to be allowed to take

Claire McCaskill

4:09:13 to 4:09:32( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: off again. so what doe this have to do with the amendment? in the latest audit, it was found that 67% of the heavy maintenance -- i'm not talking about kicking the tires or change ing the oil --

Claire McCaskill

4:09:32 to 4:09:52( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: heavy maintenance of u.s. commercial aircraft are now being performed by foreign repair stations. in a series of reports, the inspector general has identified mini gaps in f.a.a. oversight for these foreign

Claire McCaskill

4:09:52 to 4:10:10( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: repair station stations. what this amendment does is seek to apply the same standards of safety and security to all of these foreign repair stations that u.s. carriers are use ing. it seems to me that's

Claire McCaskill

4:10:10 to 4:10:27( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: a pretty reasonable proposition. if you have an airport, a commercial carrier, that is serviced here in the united states at an f.a.a.-certify ied facility, it's likely an f.a.a. inspector is on site, a constance

Claire McCaskill

4:10:27 to 4:10:42( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: presence. there are requirements of drug and alcohol checks. there is perimeter security. there are standards that must be met in terms of these repair stations. now, how does it make sense that we don't

Claire McCaskill

4:10:42 to 4:10:55( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: demand those same standards for american carriers that are use ing foreign repair stations? it seems to me that most americans would be surprise ed to find out that we don't. and that's what this amendment

Claire McCaskill

4:10:55 to 4:11:07( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: is going to fix. i want to thank senator specter for cosponsoring this amendment,nt and i want to spend a little by the of time today talking about -- a little bit of time today talking about what the

Claire McCaskill

4:11:07 to 4:11:28( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: amendment contains. but i want to make sure that not only is the problem not just whether or not the work being done is not up to the standards we would expect in some of these foreign repair stations,

Claire McCaskill

4:11:28 to 4:11:41( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: i want to talk about security issues. my mom is going to be 80 this summer, and she had she's she's had two knee replacements. she can't go through an airport without being wanded, many times her

Claire McCaskill

4:11:41 to 4:11:54( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: suitcase being opened. we all know we have to check our shampoo. we cannot carry water bottles through security anymore. i think the american public, the flying public, understands and has accepted

Claire McCaskill

4:11:54 to 4:12:07( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: these incredibly intrusive measures because they want safety. they want security. they want to make sure that when they fly, they are safe. so they have really said, okay, i'm going to take a bunch

Claire McCaskill

4:12:07 to 4:12:23( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: of time at the airport. i'm going to stand inst lines. you know, i'm going to stand in line. i'm going to havein people padding my body. i'm going do all of this because i want safety and security.

Claire McCaskill

4:12:23 to 4:12:36( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: in 2003 an inspector general report found that there was an al qaeda member working at a foreign repair station in singapore. the report discovered easy access to facility ies by outside outsiders

Claire McCaskill

4:12:36 to 4:12:49( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: and found the f.a.a. was leaving employee background checks and drug and alcohol testing up to the individual airlines. we know "we note that in december of 2 200 2001, a senior aircraft technician

Claire McCaskill

4:12:49 to 4:13:10( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: at a foreign repair station was found to be a member of the terrorist organization al qaeda ... the aircraft technician photographed u.s. aircraft as potential targets for a terrorist attack." now,

Claire McCaskill

4:13:10 to 4:13:21( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: really ... is it fair that we all are worrying about whether or not we have one ounce or more of shampoo? i think most americans would be shocked to see this in inconsistency in this sense of caution

Claire McCaskill

4:13:21 to 4:13:35( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: and safety when it comes to the safety of the flying public. what does this amendment do stits ?it's pretty simple. it requires identification and oversight of foreign repair facility ies that are noncertify

Claire McCaskill

4:13:35 to 4:13:48( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: ied noncertified. the f.a.a. must submit a plan to congress within six months of enactment to identify and expand its oversight of all noncertify noncertified facility ies use ed by u.s. air carriers.

Claire McCaskill

4:13:48 to 4:13:57( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: thighs u.s. air carriers are not just outsourcing to f.a.a.- f.a.a.-certified foreign repair stations, they're also out outsourcing this work to non noncertify ied f.a.a. facilities. and i keep asking the f.a.a.

Claire McCaskill

4:13:57 to 4:14:09( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: in hearings, why do we have certification? you know, i'll say, do you think certification is important? and the f.a.a. officials will say, well, yes, we think it's important. i say, well then why do

Claire McCaskill

4:14:09 to 4:14:23( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: we have it if we don't require everybody to have it? what's the point? why are we letting these carriers use noncertified facilities if the certification is important to our safety and security? it

Claire McCaskill

4:14:23 to 4:14:36( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: doesn't make sense. this amendment would in fact require that those carriers use certify facility ies if they are in fact going to use foreign repair stations. it will require the f.a.a. to do two inspections

Claire McCaskill

4:14:36 to 4:14:50( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: a year. i don't think that's a heavy lift. two inspections a year of their facility ies wherever they may be. it will require drug and alcohol testing of employees performing maintenance at foreign

Claire McCaskill

4:14:50 to 4:15:03( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: repair stations. mr. president, it's been interesting to me because we've had some pushbacks from some places about this because of some countries that want us not to require this, because they currently

Claire McCaskill

4:15:03 to 4:15:19( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: have work of u.s. carriers and they don't want america to require f.a.a. over oversight to this degree. and one of the things they protest most, some of these nations, is the drug and alcohol testing.

Claire McCaskill

4:15:19 to 4:15:30( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: well, you know, with all due respect, i really don't think americans are excite ed about the idea that we would waive drug and alcohol testing for people who are working on airplanes.~ you know, i think

Claire McCaskill

4:15:30 to 4:15:46( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: it's a basic. it certainlily would be a basic in this country. i think it's certainly something the american people would expect. it will also enforce the t.s.a. requirements that foreign repair

Claire McCaskill

4:15:46 to 4:15:56( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: stations comply with security standards issued by the transportation security administration. updating foreign repair station fee schedules to ensure taxpayers resident subdiegz the outsourcing of this --

Claire McCaskill

4:15:56 to 4:16:11( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: subsidizing the outsourcing of this work. now, here's the part that gets me a little cranky about this whole situation. it's one thing for companies to want to outsource labor to other countries because

Claire McCaskill

4:16:11 to 4:16:26( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: it's cheaper. now, with -- other than fixing our tax code so we don't encourage the outsourcing of jobs, it's not like we can require corporations in our country to keep all their jobs in the united

Claire McCaskill

4:16:26 to 4:16:44( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: states. that's a tough thing for us to do in an open democracy, in a free market economy. i'll tell you what we can do, though. we can sure make absolutely certain that these companies are not

Claire McCaskill

4:16:44 to 4:16:57( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: doing it with the help of taxpayer dollars. right now the certified foreign repair companies that are in foreign countries, the american taxpayers footing the bill for those inspections and certain fictions.

Claire McCaskill

4:16:57 to 4:17:10( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: in other words, the companies can outsource the labor to a country where it's less expensive and taxpayers are footing part of the bill for the safety and security of those facilities. now, if you're

Claire McCaskill

4:17:10 to 4:17:26( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: going to go for a less expensive labor cost, it seems to me you at a minimum ought to add to that savings the cost of the inspections by the united states government. why should the taxpayers foot the

Claire McCaskill

4:17:26 to 4:17:41( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: bill for f.a.a. inspectors to fly over to singapore to -- to inspect a facility? that doesn't seem fair. so this makes sure that the people who are using the foreign repair stations are absorbing the

Claire McCaskill

4:17:41 to 4:17:54( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: costs of inspecting and keeping those foreign repair stations up to our standards. and the obviously it requires the regular inspector general oversight of the implementation of this provision. this

Claire McCaskill

4:17:54 to 4:18:10( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: is very reasonable. the house has similar language in its bill. i think that this makes sense. i think it's sething that, frankly, the american public would be surprised to understand that we have

Claire McCaskill

4:18:10 to 4:18:26( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: this huge gap in our safety and security oversight for the flying public. and i look forward to an opportunity for the members to have a vote on this. i -- i think that we all want trade. we all

Claire McCaskill

4:18:26 to 4:18:37( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: want to make sure that we can export american products and we don't want trade agreements that -- that put us at a disadvantage or, frankly, we want to make sure we still have access to other markets.

Claire McCaskill

4:18:37 to 4:18:50( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: we can't outsource safety, mr. president. we just can't. this administration is willing to do that. this administration is willing to say, you know, we're going to let these other countries worry about whether

Claire McCaskill

4:18:50 to 4:18:59( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: or not their facilities are safe. and i just don't think this is one area where the american people want this function of our government outsourced. i think they want us to be on top of it. i think they

Claire McCaskill

4:18:59 to 4:19:12( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: want make sure it's being done right. i think they want make sure it's being done fairly. i think they want to make sure they're want paying the bill to outsource this bill. and at the end of the day,

Claire McCaskill

4:19:12 to 4:19:25( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: i think they have been cheerful, as americans always are, about what's asked of them. but i don't blame them for being a little worried that there hasn't been more sense of urgency about the safety

Claire McCaskill

4:19:25 to 4:20:05( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: and security of this situation in light of all of the money that we have spent in the name of national security and importantly homeland security. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor and note the

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